Your creative writing needs improvement.
You might not like to face that truth, but it is indeed a truth. I’ll go into more detail about that in a little bit but every writer out there needs improvement.
And one of the best ways to get better at creative writing is to challenge yourself by completing writing exercises.
What is Creative Writing?
Creative writing is typically fiction or poetry that uses imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a story through strong written visuals with an emotional impact. It’s often seen as the opposite of journalistic or academic writing.
When it comes to writing, there are many different types. As you already know, all writing does not read in the same way.
Creative writing uses senses and emotions in order to create a strong visual in the reader’s mind whereas other forms of writing typically only leave the reader with facts and information instead of emotional intrigue.
Creative Writing Topics
If you’re looking for a few creative writing topics to dive into (which you’ll need if you’re going to use some of our top writing exercises), we have exactly what you need.
These are our top creative writing prompts all compiled for you.
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What are the Elements of Creative Writing?
In order to get better at creative writing, you have to understand the elements of what makes it great in the first place.
You can’t build a car engine without understanding how each part plays a role, right?
That’s the same case with writing.
Here are the elements that make up creative writing and why each is just as important as the other.
Elements of Creative Writing
What differentiates creative writing and other forms of writing the most is the fact that the former always has a plot of some sort – and a unique one.
Yes, remakes are also considered creative writing, however, most creative writers create their own plot formed by their own unique ideas. Without having a plot, there’s no story.
And without a story, you’re really just writing facts on paper, much like a journalist.
Characters are necessary for creative writing. While you can certainly write creatively using second person point of view (which I’ll cover below), you still have to develop the character in order to tell the story.
Character development can be defined as the uncovering of who a character is and how they change throughout the duration of your story. From start to end, readers should be able to understand your main characters deeply.
Almost every story out there has an underlying theme or message – even if the author didn’t necessarily intend for it to.
But create writing needs that theme or message in order to be complete. That’s part of the beauty of this form of art. By telling a story, you can also teach lessons.
When you’re reading a newspaper, you don’t often read paragraphs of descriptions depicting the surrounding areas of where the events took place. Visual descriptions are largely saved for creative writing.
You need them in order to help the reader understand what the surroundings of the characters look like. This pulls readers in and allows them to imagine themselves in the characters’ shoes – which is the reason people read.
Point of view
There are a few points of views you can write in. That being said, the two that are most common in creative writing are first person and third person.
- First Person – In this point of view, the narrator is actually the main character. This means that you will read passages including, “I” and understand that it is the main character narrating the story.
- Second Person – Most often, this point of view isn’t used in creative writing, but rather instructional writing – like this blog post. When you see the word “you” and the narrator is speaking directly to you, it’s second person point of view.
- Third Person – Within this point of view are a few different variations. You have third person limited, third person multiple, and third person omniscient. The first is what you typically find.
- Third person limited’s narrator uses “he/she/they” when speaking about the character you’re following. They know that character’s inner thoughts and feelings but nobody else’s. It’s much like first person, but instead of the character telling the story, a narrator takes their place.
- Third person multiple is the same as limited except that the narrator now knows the inner thoughts and feelings of several characters.
- The last, third person omniscient, is when the narrator still uses “he/she/they” but has all of the knowledge. They know everything about everyone.
While non-creative writing can have dialogue (like in interviews), that dialogue is not used in the same way as it is in creative writing.
Creative writing (aside from silent films) requires dialogue to support the story. Your characters should interact with one another in order to further the plot and development each other more.
Part of what makes creative writing creative is the way you choose to craft the vision in your mind. And that means creative writing uses more anecdotes, metaphors, similes, figures of speech, and other comparisons in order to paint a vivid image in the reader’s mind.
All writing can have emotion appeal. However, it’s the entire goal of creative writing. Your job as a writer is to make people feel how you want them to by telling them a story.
Examples of Creative Writing
Since creative writing covers such a wide variety of writing, we wanted to break down the different types of creative writing out there to help you make sense of it. You may know that novels are considered creative writing, but what about memoirs?
We’ve compiled a list of the different creative writing types to help you see the difference within each, even though they’re all considered creative writing.
|Type of Creative Writing|
|TV show scripts|
9 Creative Writing Exercises to Get Better
Writing is just like any other skill. You have to work at it in order to get better.
It’s also much like other skills because the more you do it, the stronger you become in it. That’s why exercising your creative writing skills is so important.
The best authors out there, including Stephen King, recommend writing something every single day. These writing exercises will help you accomplish that and improve your talent immensely.
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#1 – Describe your day with creative writing
This is one of my favorite little exercises to keep my writing sharp and in shape.
Just like with missing gym sessions, the less you write, the more of that skill you lose. Hannah Lee Kidder, a very talented author and Youtuber, gave me this writing exercise and I have used it many times.
#2 – Description Depiction
If you’re someone who struggles with writing descriptions or you just want to get better in general, this exercise will help you do just that – and quickly.
In order to improve your descriptions, you have to write them with a specific intention.
With this exercise, the goal is to write your description with the goal of showing the reader as much as you can about your character without ever mentioning them at all.
#3 – Edit your old writing
Believe it or not, editing does count as writing and can actually sharpen those creative writing skill more than you think.
It can be a little scary to pull up a story you wrote last week or even two years ago and tear it apart. But that’s exactly what I want you to do.
Check out this video of me editing my old writing in order to replace weak verbs with stronger, better ones to get a taste of what this can look like and how it can help you get better.
#4 – Voice Variations
One of my favorite parts of writing is giving unique voices to each character. I believe that’s what truly brings them to live. Their dialogue as the power to pull readers in, or push them out of the book completely.
Obviously, you want the former.
During this exercise, your focus will be to pick 4 different emotional states and write dialogue and narrative of how your character feels and interprets those feelings.
#5 – Single Senses
Creating strong visuals is one of the most powerful ways to become a great creative writer. In fact, practicing this will help you craft books that really hook readers.
This exercise’s goal is to help you develop writing the senses in ways that not only make sense, but are also imaginative and unique.
#6 – Dialogue Destruction
During this exercise, you will learn a lot about how to shape a scene using entirely dialogue.
Now, this isn’t something you’ll always do in your writing, but it’s very important to know how to move a scene forward using dialogue if you need to.
This will also help you understand how to show and not tell in creative writing.
#7 – Tell the origin story of the Tooth Fairy
This writing exercise will really help you think creatively about something a large part of the world knows about.
However, you have to think of a very unique, interesting way of presenting this common idea. The purpose of this is to help you dig deeper within your own story and plot in order to come up with the very best, most unique ideas – because that is what will stand out in your book.
#8 – Thematic Attic
This is a fun one! The idea behind this creative writing exercise is to focus on interpreting themes through story.
Since all creative writing has an underlying theme behind it, it’s really important for you to be able to accurately depict that theme throughout the story you’re telling.
Otherwise, it can get lost. Not knowing the theme can often leave readers feeling unsatisfied – and rightfully so.
#9 – Break Language Barriers
This isn’t quite what you think it is. So no, we will not be creating new languages with this exercise.
Instead, we’ll be working on using unique language to describe very common, everyday occurrences and experiences.
One of the beauties of creative writing is that you have the power to change the way someone sees the world. You can make it more appealing and special to them – if you know how.
This exercise will help you develop the skill of using a unique narrative within your story.
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What are some creative writing exercises you use to get better? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!